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Thu, 26 Apr 2018
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit


When bad is good for you: How to get positive results from negative emotions

Recently, I came to realize that I have been stuck in a rut. Since the moment of my self-diagnosis, I've been wondering: why had I let my negative feelings persist?

When you get a splinter in your foot, you stop what you're doing and turn all your mental and physical resources to getting that splinter out. (I've personally tackled splinters with the dedication of a mad scientist - determined to fix the problem no matter how long it took and how gross it made my foot look.) And yet, here was this emotional pain stabbing away at me every day, and I did little more than complain about it. How can we be so accepting of our psychological splinters?

Comment: The Secret Epidemic of Trapped Emotions
If you are like most people, your life has had its darker times. You have probably experienced moments of anxiety, as well as other times of grief, anger, frustration, and fear. You may have experienced periods of sorrow, as well as depression, low self-esteem, hopelessness, or any of a wide variety of negative emotions.

What you may not realize is that some of the negative emotions you've experienced, even though you may have felt them long ago, may still be creating problems for you in subtle, yet very damaging ways. The Emotion Code is about finding those old emotions and releasing them forever.

Much of our suffering is due to negative emotional energies that have become 'trapped' within us. The Emotion Code is a simple and powerful method of finding and releasing these trapped energies.

Heart - Black

Children who experience early childhood trauma don't 'just get over it'

Humans are relatively adaptable beings which is why we are thriving and not dying out like other species. Horrendous disasters such as the Philippines typhoon, the Boxing Day Tsunami, the nuclear disaster in Japan, the major wars of our time, and horrific famines see great suffering, but these events also inspires survival through adaptation. It turns out we possess a strong survival mechanism in our brains directly linked to our bodies, fight, flight, freeze, flop and friend (fffff).

In fact, the survival part of our brain, which is primitive yet effective, is the first to develop in utero starting at around 7 weeks. It regulates our breathing, digestive system, heart rate and temperature, along with the 'fffff' system which operates to preserve our life.

Comment: Read more about How Stress Is Really Hurting Our Kids


The opiate of the masses: When religion becomes an addiction

"I've never been happier since I quit my 30-year addiction to Jesus." - Blogger and Christian Heretic, Sandra Kee
Jesus shot
To a medical researcher, the word addiction has a specific biological meaning. But in common vernacular, it means approximately this: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Based on this definition some religious experiences seem a lot like addictions—at least that's what former believers say.

Blogger Sandra Kee, a self-described "Christian Heretic," looks back at her family history and sees religion and addiction as a messy tangle: "My family for several generations was in a dysfunctional and addictive religious life, using God (or what we believed about God) as a drug. Many of the family who left religion simply traded for another addiction. The generations that entered into religion did so to escape alcoholism and other addictions (though it wasn't called addiction back then). Many who remained in religion developed additional addictions as well."


What do flying dreams mean?

flying dream
Do you fly in your dreams?

Some people dream of flying often, while others never do, and there are reasons why this experience is not shared by all.

Dreams are the result of your unconscious mind (UM) trying to communicate what it is currently processing to your conscious mind. You may be processing what happened that very day, or something that happened to you in high school or as a small child. The UM does not process in sequence, so just because you processed something about your childhood one night, it does not mean you will pick up where you left off and continue with that particular process.

Comment: Are Dreams an Extension of Physical Reality?


Hell is a Church invention, says former Bishop

Bishop John Shelby Spong

Former Bishop John Shelby Spong
Religions tend to invent ideas and concepts just like every other creative human enterprise, and they have unleashed some remarkably bad ideas onto humanity. Most of these are centered around the notion of telling people what to do and how to live their lives, with the aim of convincing people that conformity to church guidelines will bring some intangible reward in the afterlife.

One example of many is the Christian belief that the one and only way not to eternally burn in Hell is to accept Jesus Christ as the savior, as if no other deity or religious experience is valid to the human experience.

The concept of heaven and hell has been so ingrained into the human psyche that many people cannot see beyond this limiting paradigm to any other possibility. Retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, however, doesn't seem to believe in the myth of Hell, and during a nationally televised interview he shared his opinions on why he thinks convincing the flock to believe in the concept of 'Hell' is absolutely critical to the Church's survival.

Comment: Very true words coming from a former Bishop. Contrast his remarks with the former Pope's statements that 'the fires of Hell are real and eternal'. If the Church cares so much about the well-being of the flock why continuously bombard them with stress-inducing fear tactics? Threats of eternal damnation are obviously needed to keep them in line and keep the coffers full.


Finding power and strength in inner silence

sitting silence
How is silence a source of strength? I adore the works of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching, but sometimes I don't know what he means. Does he just mean the kind of silence in meditation? Here's more:
When life is simple,
Pretenses fall away;
Our essential natures shine though.

By not wanting there is calm,
And the world will straighten itself out.
When there is silence
One finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.
This kind of silence appears to be the inner peace of living in the moment and appreciating the invaluable ordinary things around us every day. Quieting all those thoughts that color our perception day in and day out, we live in the moment and tap into a bounty of joy and gratitude for the simplest things.

We spend much of our time in the future, worrying about what will be and planning what we will do. We also spend a lot of time in the past mulling over regrets, changes, and losses. In order to slow down and live present in the moment, we have to quiet the cycle of stress and worry.

I find that stepping off the roller coaster of anxious thoughts is easiest first thing in the morning, and I think that applies to all of us. Do you want to find your silence? Then before you step into your routine and begin thinking about all the things you have to do today, step back and let your thoughts flow freely. Don't treat today like an emergency. Have faith that you can handle whatever comes because you always have. You are a capable person — capable of coping and of finding inner peace.

Comment: We're constantly filling our ears with music, news and even noise that we create nonstop in our own heads. We probably spend very few moments each day in total silence. But silence can be a major factor to help us relieve tension and stress, replenish our minds and can even help regenerate brain cells.


Channeling universal life force to heal your body

We live in a sea of subtle energies. We can become conscious of them and learn to use them.

Ancient cultures understood that we live in a vast sea of energy. They understood that the planets and stars are conscious beings who communicate with each other. They believed that the trees serve as antennas, which allow natural subtle energies and information to flow up from the Earth to the stars and planets, and from all other celestial bodies into the Earth. They taught that everything and every being has consciousness and channels this energy according to its capabilities, to help facilitate this essential cosmic dialogue.

In fact, they understood that all matter, including the physical body, is a gathering of this universal energy. They recognized that our thoughts and emotions are a form of energy, and that when these are in harmony with the living universal energy field, we become clear channels. Then, the life force of the Earth and cosmos flows through us more smoothly and abundantly, guiding our evolution as new perspectives are revealed and advanced abilities are awakened within us. These abilities include heightened creativity, extrasensory perception and the ability to bring about dramatic physical healing. Shamans learn to feel, sense and use this energy without filtering or distorting it. They often refer to this process as becoming a "hollow bone".


A theory of why we dream about sex

sex dream
Did you dream of having sex last night? Was it with someone other than your partner? Was it awkward? Embarrassing? Disgusting? Or the best sex you have ever had?

It could be all or none of these things. Dreams are the result of our unconscious minds trying to communicate what they are processing at any given time in our lives. You may be processing things that happened yesterday, in high school, or as a four year old you.

Dreams of sex are the most interesting to decipher and represent the most private revelations of personal growth. However, you need to understand a few basic things. If you dream of sex and have an orgasm, this may be a purely organic and natural function of your body releasing some backed up energy. No big thing... just the start of a new day.

Comment: For more on dreams see:

People 2

Study finds too much empathy can impair our ability to see things from other people's persectives

The ability to understand and share in another person's feelings is not only a good trait to have, but it's a key factor of successful social interactions; the other is an ability to understand a person's intentions. Empathy has also been linked to many health benefits, such as reduced stress and anxiety. And yet, new research published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience suggests there's such a thing as being too empathetic — and it hurts more than helps your relationships.

Prior studies have linked these two social skills, empathy and understanding, together, suggesting they connect and relate to one another to some extent; however, the exact link is still unclear. So researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, set out to examine whether or not people who empathize easily with others are also capable of grasping their thoughts and intentions. They conducted two experiments using electroencephalography — a method that records electrical activity of the brain — involving about 200 people. This data would also tell researchers if certain parts of the brain are more active as participants complete the study.


Burnout: How to recover your emotional and physical vitality

burnout, stress
A few weeks ago it was all over the headlines that what we typically call "burnout" just might be depression. Beyond the vagueness such wording introduced (another way to push anti-depressants?), the actual research further affirms burnout as a genuine psychological and physical experience. This second study confirms that those who suffer from job "burnout" also experience the onset of key depression symptoms, something of little surprise to anyone who's ever been through it. Yet, as an earlier study suggests, burnout is its own animal. Symptoms are largely linked to "atypical" depression, which behaves differently and can more readily suggest situational origins. It's something I've been saying for years—certain elements of the modern (unmitigated) experience promotes neurosis more than we'd like to admit. Burnout is one common example.

Most people have experienced brief phases of it. Others have unfortunately found themselves in the long-term grip of it. Burnout is that bottomed out sensation of emotional and often bodily exhaustion. We feel wholly knocked down by the unrelenting demands or psychological disorientation of our circumstances. Eventually, we feel we just can't get up again. The result can be a hollowed-out, hopeless, automaton feeling. Some people cry at random. Others shut down. We might still be moving through our duties at home or work, but it's often with a numbness that hovers above a perpetual anxiety or emptiness.

Still, it's important to understand that we're not talking about "just" a psychological phenomenon here. Burnout, while it's the long-term result of outer circumstances rather than inherent genetic workings, is still very much a physical malady. Primary symptoms include the aforementioned physical and mental exhaustion but also, commonly speaking, insomnia or sleep disturbances, slow mental processing, impaired memory, irritability, reduced concentration, impatience, cynicism, unexplained pain or headaches, and appetite changes. This is no figment of the imagination.

We mostly hear about burnout in terms of work, as in job burnout. That's the case with the aforementioned studies (which followed teachers), but I've seen burnout in people who either don't have standard jobs (e.g. parents who stay home with children) or who do have regular work but whose burnout is clearly rooted in other long-standing factors such as intensive parenting or other caregiving demands, acute health/fitness obsession, chronic marital conflict or family dysfunction. The primary issues in these cases are basically the same as those noted in job burnout: lack of life balance, dysfunctional dynamics, unclear or unreasonable expectations, inadequate social support, and perceived lack of control.